When God Withholds Your Paycheck

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We have to be willing to serve God for nothing because there is no guarantee that our service for God will pay us.

I hope you realize I’m not talking about money. And all the bivo-pastors said, “Amen!”

Results. We do things for God in hope of results. But God does not always give us the results we hoped for. We work hard and hope our church grows but instead it shrinks. We pray and plan and launch something new and it doesn’t work. We pour ourselves into a potential leader and then they move out of state.

In Matthew 20 the laborers felt they weren’t being paid fairly by the landowner, “…and they grumbled at the landowner…”

I can remember a particularly discouraging time in one of my church plants when I prayed, “Lord, I know you love me but it seems like you don’t care too much about what I’m trying to do for you. Couldn’t you throw me a bone once in a while?”

I don’t know why God sometimes gives us our desired results (our paycheck) and sometimes He withholds our pay. Maybe sometimes our plans are not his plans and he’s saving us from something we can’t see. Maybe a withheld paycheck is really a delayed paycheck. Maybe we don’t always see the results we hoped for because pastoring a church is hard and there can be a multitude of factors beyond our control that sabotage our plans. But maybe there’s another reason.

I wonder if sometimes God withholds our paycheck because he wants to see how we will respond. Will we grumble like the laborers in Matthew 20? Will we give up, pack up, and move on? Perhaps there are things God wants to work into our character that can only be accomplished by disappointment. Maybe he wants to see if we’re serving him for results or serving him for him.

We must detach ourselves from our need for results and attach ourselves to God and him alone. I know this is easier said than done. I can still grumble even though I no longer pastor a church. But I want to get to the place where in order to have peace and contentment I no longer need my plans to work as long as I have him, as long as I know I am doing what he’s asked me to do.

I want to be willing to serve God for nothing.